New crop of Republican candidates announced from the state Capitol

Michael Bielawski/TNR

RURAL CONSERVATIVES: A new crop of candidates from the Republican Party are focused on rural living and sound economics.

MONTPELIER — Ten new candidates for Vermont’s House and Senate were introduced Wednesday by Republican gubernatorial candidate John Klar from the steps of the state Capitol.

In what turned out to be a hot, steamy morning, Klar said he coined the term “Agripublican” for his growing group of rural and economy-minded candidates, but added it’s not a separate party from the Republicans.

“We have a specific couple of issues that we are bringing to the voters, particularly the economy and school systems, which do appear to be pretty big issues right now for Vermonters,” he said.

Shannara Johnson, who was announced to be running for one of two seats for the Orange-1 House district, took aim at the Global Warming Solutions Act, a bill currently under discussion by state lawmakers.

“There are so many new taxes coming up to be imposed on Vermonters — carbon tax, gasoline tax — and they say by 2050 they want to cut the emissions to zero. This is one of the cleanest states in terms of air and water, and one of the poorest states,” she said.

Chris Viens, a candidate who is running as an independent but joined in with the group, owns an excavation and construction company in Waterbury. He said he’s discouraged at the way the state government is being run.

“It’s gotten to the point where I’m so fed up with it,” he said. “I’m 60 years old … and at this point I take the gloves off, and people are going to hear what I’ve got to say,” he told True North.

“It’s time for people to start stepping up and acting as community members and helping to support this whole system instead of constantly taking from it. There needs to be some accountability guidelines put forward,” he said.

Levar Cole, a resident of Chelsea, is running for one of two seats in the Orange-1 district. He told TNR that the economic shutdown initiated by Gov. Phil Scott is challenging for residents.

“We have businesses who are fighting for their lives to keep employees online,” he said. “I’ve talked with some employers who have basically spent through all of their life savings.”

Jeannine Young, of Craftsbury, is running for one of two seats in the Orleans-Caledonia House district. She was the Derby Water and Sewer commissioner for 15 years.

“I decided to run for the House of Representatives to make a difference,” she wrote in an email to True North. “The Northeast Kingdom needs someone who will forcefully advocate for recognition and respect by other legislators and state officials. My goal is to help people overcome the obstacles they encounter in their efforts to achieve success in their lives.”

Zachary Lang, of Bradford, is running for a House seat in the Orange-2 district. He works as a paraeducator with the Bradford High School and is a volunteer with the Bradford Fire Department.

“I am very big on working against the carbon tax,” Lang told True North. “Life in Vermont is financially difficult enough for everybody, and especially in the wintertime with heating fuel. And to be able to drive their cars, except for right now where gas prices have dropped, it was getting pretty expensive for people.”

Other candidates include Brock Coderre, who is running for one of two seats for the Washington-Chittenden House district. He studied business administration, law and finance at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. He also has worked construction, accounting and clerical jobs.

Randy Gray, of North Springfield, is running for one of two seats in Windsor 3-2 House district. He runs a small business that has been hurt by the coronavirus shutdown. According to a candidate profile provided to media, Gray has “worked for many years serving hundreds of Vermont businesses in sales and sales administration for one of the largest building materials wholesalers in the Northeast.”

Dawnmarie Tomasi, who is running for the Washington County Senate seat, has degrees in business management and computer management and has run her own businesses in daycare, soap-making and farming. Tomasi also has volunteer experience with Women Gun Owners of Vermont.

Ken Alger, of Barre Town, is running for a Washington County Senate seat. He formerly worked on a dairy farm and later became a commercial flooring installer. He’s also an NRA-certified pistol and rifle instructor who teaches gun safety to youth.

Also announced as a candidate was Peter Briggs, a fourth-generation farmer running for an Addison County Senate seat. In addition to managing his family-owned dairy farm, Briggs is active in the Vermont National Guard.

Profiles for all the newly announced candidates can be found here.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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11 thoughts on “New crop of Republican candidates announced from the state Capitol

  1. It is time to elect candidates who understand that this nation was formed to empower the individual citizen and to limit the size, cost and power of government. These goals can only work if the citizens are knowledgeable and get involved in government. The more that government does, the less control you have over your own life.
    So, please consider becoming a candidate for the Vermont House , Senate or other State office.. It is time to get Vermont out of debt and up and running again. Our healthcare and education systems need revision to reduce costs and improve services. Please step up to help Vermont return to the special place where people can afford and want to live, work and raise a family.

  2. Beautiful heartwarming panoramic…freezin and holdin…consider these moments golden…one of the more uplifting moments in the darkness of dem-dystopia. Hoping for better days to come for all.

  3. So….one of his opponents, Governor Scott will be funded with millions of dollars from PAC’s, much of what will be coming from out of state.

    This happened before when he was challenged by Keith Stern. Having helped a little bit on his campaign, I can tell you from personal experience, VPR, will not give fair treatments to call ins. I suspect the VTGOP is not giving any aid and perhaps making his run more difficult by not providing resources. Twitter and Facebook shadow banned Mr. Stern, any conservative or person not pimping for the new world order will not get play.

    And to add insult to injury, when Scott was getting a bit nervous, The Republican Governors PAC sent him all sorts of money, I forget how much hundreds/million? To run against Keith.

    So….here is where once again, PAC’s and Lobbyist make all the changes or no changes in Vermont.

    Ti’s why I’m suggesting, in this time of revenue need, corruption and general foul political odors we, Vermont adopt a new tax, leading the nation and freeing our state and country.

    TAX —— and I mean heavy!!!!!!!


    Our world would be a bitter better off without them.

    It’s a free idea, ready and waiting. Free Vermont from these socialist shackles, please.

    • Forgot the biggest influencer in Comrade Scott campaign, globalist bag men – Koch Bros – there is currently only one Koch – his brother has passed but represent the conservo side of the NWO coin – not a fan lol. Also suspect some Bloomberg bucks slipped in but serves to show what an unprincipled sellout Benedict Scott turned out to be.

  4. John Klar is working his Tookus off to rescue Vermont, but without an immense effort on our part . . . well, without the teeny amount it takes to spread the word these days, I’m afraid we’ll lose our state to those other people. Oh, you know the ones — the people who are willing to sacrifice our state and our livelihoods as a Quixotic example to other states that need reforming. Listen to his message: it gives e hope!

    • Yesher koach to John Klar!!
      And to John Mahaffy for praising John and his efforts to saving Vermont.

  5. Looks like John is doing more to revive the Vermont Republican Party than the entire party. Way to GO!

    Perhaps this is some new life! I know Ken Alger, he’s a good man.

    If our party can work together, promote his efforts, promote the efforts of others, give them the tools, money and support, we can be like a quilt, together making a strong group.

    It’s like cutting the grass on a big farm. You have your field cutters, your gang mowers, your riding lawn mower, your hand mower and your edger. A different tool (group) for a different reason. Together we can make our state beautiful and warm in the cold winter months.

    There is some team work here that hasn’t been seen in 20 years. God Speed.

  6. It’s about time, save Vermont from Liberal cancer we have in the Statehouse,
    No New Taxes until we have a balanced budget………………

    • One of my representatives and a sponsor of H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act informed me he was proud of the fact they balance their budgets. At that point I realized this is how they justify the outlandish legislation they come up with, they merely claim it is justified because they balanced the budget.

      The question is should this law have even been considered in the first place, in most cases the answer is a resounding no! And most likely it would not have been considered if our legislative agendas were established for Vermonters instead of by and for a Global Agenda.

      The New World Order monopolizes the priority of Agenda in Montpelier and our legislators facilitate them in doing so!

      We need new blood in the capitol!

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